Share the Pain
"For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me."
- What helps you cope with life's troubles and challenges?
- What brings on the blahs in your life?
- When loneliness or depression strikes, do you stay in the pit, starving your soul, or--like Job--do you search for solutions?
Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder? Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow?" (Job 6:5-6).
Job claimed the right to bray and bellow, since he had been wounded by God and offered "tasteless food"--in other words, poor advice--from his so-called friends.1 All was gone in his life, and he considered his circumstances utterly hopeless. But instead of giving up or throwing a pity party, he sought the counsel of his friends. Job was genuinely searching for truth. And that's exactly why he was pleading with them to stop being so cruel.
"Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat my desperate words as wind? You would even cast lots for the fatherless and barter away your friend. But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face? Relent, do not be unjust; reconsider, for my integrity is at stake. Is there any wickedness on my lips? Can my mouth not discern malice?" (Job 6:26-30).
Job set an example for us all by taking three vital steps during trying times:
1. Finding trustworthy counsel
2. Seeking truth
3. Expressing emotions
As sadness and despair takes hold in our lives, we have a tendency to sink deeper and deeper into a pit--causing us to wonder what we've ever done to deserve any of this, questioning why God has abandoned us.
But here's what we must remember: Our emotions are highly cyclical and can bounce from extremes. So when the storms of life strike, we usually feel more frustration than faith. If we've had a fight or have been rejected, we're often more consumed with anger--not the comfort of the Almighty.
Lord, help me not to suffer alone. Give me the strength to seek the counsel of a trustworthy friend. Bring individuals in my life who will be a "safe harbor" for me. Amen.